Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What terms mean ...

Wow, it's amazing how something as publicly spirited as wikipedia can be used as a sales tool. I was looking up some stuff and noticed term wars, blatant marketing by groups and some really snide attacks.

Anyway, as I still dabble in the XaaS world I checked out a couple of terms and thought I'd better get involved.

First, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is defined exactly the same as Hardware as a Service (HaaS) except it was invented afterwards. I was late to the party having borrowed the HaaS term from other people, most likely Nick Carr. Looks like some were even later, I've made some corrections.

[Added: I know I shouldn't but I cannot help myself. The thing about IaaS is that not only is it identical in concept to HaaS, it was invented significantly later and differed by only one letter. It's a bit like me running around saying I've just invented:-

  • The Vheel - a circular device that is capable of rotating on its axis, facilitating movement or transportation or performing labour in machines
  • The Selephone - a telecommunications device which is used to transmit and receive sound.

You get the picture ... it's just plain silly.]

SaaS Platform - missed this one, it is what I call FaaS or Framework as a Service. I prefer FaaS only because I've probably pinched it from someone else and it fits nicely into the XaaS terminology (see the video below) by Scott Maxwell from April'06.

SaaSu is not a term worth repeating - it's far better to use the phrase "utility computing" and let the term SaaSu be forgotten ... quickly.

[Added : Whilst I dislike the term SaaSu and prefer the term "utility computing", I am speaking of the term rather than the company - I also note that they have made a call recently for simplification back to the SaaS term. Thank you Peter for pointing that out.]

Now, as for who invented the term Software as a Service (SaaS). Well Tim O'Reilly used the term in "The Open Source Paradigm Shift" in 2004 but it had been used before by many others. It's worth noting that "SaaS" was used by Amy Mizoras Konary in a 2004 IDC report.

However it was a common term well before then.

Hmmm, XaaS must be a hot topic otherwise you wouldn't need so many rewrites of history.

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